Arbiter in Trump docs probe signals intent to move quickly

“We’re going to proceed with what I call responsible dispatch,” Raymond Dearie, a veteran Brooklyn judge, told lawyers for Trump and the Justice Department in their first meeting since his appointment last week as a so-called special master.

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National News

September 21, 2022 - 2:51 PM

Local law enforcement officers are seen in front of the home of former President Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 9. (Giorgio Viera/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The independent arbiter tasked with inspecting documents seized in an FBI search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home said Tuesday he intends to push briskly through the review process and appeared skeptical of the Trump team’s reluctance to say whether it believed the records had been declassified.

“We’re going to proceed with what I call responsible dispatch,” Raymond Dearie, a veteran Brooklyn judge, told lawyers for Trump and the Justice Department in their first meeting since his appointment last week as a so-called special master.

The purpose of the meeting was to sort out next steps in a review process expected to slow by weeks, if not months, the criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago after Trump left the White House. As special master, Dearie will be responsible for sifting through the thousands of documents recovered during the Aug. 8 FBI search and segregating any that might be protected by claims of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege.

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